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Rheumatology (Oxford). 2009 Dec;48(12):1512-4. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kep249. Epub 2009 Sep 14.

Impact of primary Sjogren's syndrome on smell and taste: effect on quality of life.

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North West Wales NHS Trust, Bangor University, Bangor, UK.



To assess the prevalence of abnormal smell and taste perception in people with primary SS and the effect on quality of life (QoL).


Twenty-eight participants with SS and 37 controls were enrolled in a cohort-matched, prospective, cross-sectional study. Smell and taste thresholds were measured using standardized, validated tests. QoL was assessed by the Short Form 12 (SF-12).


Smell threshold was reduced by 1 point (P = 0.002; 95% CI 0.35, 1.54) and taste threshold was reduced by 3.5 points (P < 0.001; 95% CI 1.80, 5.22) in the SS group compared with controls. The physical and mental components of SF-12 were reduced by 14.2 points (P < 0.001; 95% CI 9.47, 19.02) and 7.5 points (P = 0.002; 95% CI 2.97, 12.02), respectively, in the SS group compared with controls. Taste threshold was significantly correlated with both the physical (r = 0.48; P < 0.001) and the mental (r = 0.30; P = 0.015) components of SF-12. Smell threshold correlated with the physical (r = 0.457; P < 0.001), but not the mental component (r = 0.154; P = 0.222) of SF-12.


Clinically important impairment of chemosensory perception occurred in the SS group compared with age- and gender-matched controls. Assessment using SF-12 suggests that this impairment contributed to the reduced health-related QoL that characterized these individuals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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